Monday, April 30, 2012

Elemental Book Blast





Just because Ella can burn someone to the ground with her mind doesn't mean she should.




But she wants to.




For ten years—ever since she was a small child—Ella has been held prisoner on an interstellar starship. Now that she has escaped, she needs answers.




Who is she? Why was she taken? And who is the boy with the beautiful green eyes who haunts her memories?




Is Ella the prophesied Destructor… or will she be the one who's destroyed?  





Blog:
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Emily on Goodreads:
Elemental on Goodreads:


Link to grab Book Trailer:



PRAISE FOR ELEMENTAL

"Emily White's debut novel is a bestseller waiting to happen...I immediately fell in love with Ella." Author Michelle Pickett







"Who would have thought that mixing faeries and space opera would turn out to be so awesome? ... If you’re a sci-fi fan, you really can’t miss this debut!" birth of a new witch, book blogger







"Emily has done a fantastic job describing the worlds and this book has lots of action in it...keep your eye out for the book! Happy Reading! Go on a wonderful adventure to a new world where things are not always as they seem!" Tee loves Kyle Jacobson, goodreads review







"I can honestly say I've never read anything quite like Elemental. My hat is off to Ms. White, and anyone else who can take a novel set squarely in the sci-fi genre, throw in fairies and a few obscure King Arthur references, and make it all work." Keshia Swaim at The Book Addict







"I'm calling it right now. Elemental is the beginning of the next big YA series...I can safely say that I could give a copy of Elemental to my guy friends without

fear of getting punched in the nose." Author Daniel Cohen









About the Author:



Emily White lives in NY, wedged between two of the Great Lakes and a few feet of snow and ice. She's spent most of her life running away from the cold, and even spent a year in Iraq, but now contents herself with writing her characters into warm, exotic places in faraway galaxies. When not tapping away at her computer keys, she can be found reading, reading, and reading some more. And when she's not doing that, she's usually playing video games with her husband, peek-a-boo with her kids, or walking through her garden, wondering why the bugs insist on eating all her vegetables.













Blog Tour (Dark Mind): Giveaway/Interview - The Last Girl by Kitty Thomas



1. Describe your book in five words or less.

Kitty: Dark, disturbing, emotional, thought-provoking (hopefully, LOL)


2. How did the ideas for your books come to you?

Kitty: A lot of them have been dark/twisted fantasies for awhile now... little stories that run through my head.


3. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Kitty: In The Last Girl I think it’s a sort of “sympathy for the devil” set up. I want readers to understand Christian, that he’s not human and he isn’t sorry about that. But while he is a predator, he does want to love. And he doesn’t want his pets to die. So there is a real internal struggle for him, and though a lot of the book is in Juliette’s head, I hope that comes across.

And the reason it’s in Juliette’s head is because I want readers to be able to put themselves in her spot and STILL have “sympathy for the devil” because that’s more powerful than having that sympathy from a totally detached place.


4. What is the hardest part of writing for you? What's the easiest?

Kitty: The hardest part is actually sitting down and doing it. (fighting through procrastination and fear). The easiest part is when I actually start typing.


5. What's next for you? Are you currently working on or have plans for future projects?

Kitty: I have tons of ideas I want to explore, but I don’t like to talk about books too soon.


6. Why did you choose to write for specific genre?

Kitty: I never intended to write this genre, but I had the idea for my debut novel, Comfort Food, and I just HAD to write it. I didn’t even really intend to publish it. (Or told myself I didn’t.) I just had to get it out. But once I did, I let a friend read it, who is actually a psychologist and not kinky. She thought it was brilliant and that gave me the courage to publish it.

I expected Comfort Food to not be received well and for people to not “get it” because people are SO obsessed with “safe, sane and consensual” even within BDSM fiction (though I don’t technically class my work as “bdsm fiction”). I mean... it’s fiction. Fiction should be a safe space for fantasy.

Rape/kidnap/slave fantasies (which are common female sexual fantasies) shouldn’t have to be diluted with safe words inside the context of an imaginary story. No real people’s rights are being violated. And nobody (least of all, me) is “condoning” the activities of fictional people. Besides that, erotica is generally written BY and FOR women. While there are male readers, they are in the minority, so that should be kept in mind, IMO, by those who think books like mine “send the wrong message”. What message would that be, exactly? And to whom? The female readers who have fantasies exactly like this? Fantasy and real life are different things. Fantasizing about it doesn’t mean you want to DO it.

So I was prepared for heat. But then, with the exception of very isolated cases, it just didn’t come. Instead, people loved it and wrote me these long super personal emails about how much it meant to them and that gave me the courage to keep going and to let out some of the other stories that have been waiting... so... another writing identity (Kitty) was born. LOL


7. What's it like hearing that readers are eagerly awaiting your book's release date?

Kitty: Sort of surreal. I mean I’m certainly not famous, but I have a little bit of a cult following now. And the Kitty fans are pretty intense! And I sit there and I am thinking: “You know I’m just a person, right?”


8. What is one question that you've always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?

Kitty: You know, if you hadn’t asked me that... I would have an answer for you. LOL. My interviewers tend to be pretty astute and ask a lot of the right questions. Every interviewer doesn’t ask every question, but over the course of all the interviews I’ve done, I think most everything has been touched on!


9. What was your road to publications like?

Kitty: Well, early on, I had the idea I would go the traditional route (Not with Kitty because Kitty wasn’t going to exist LOL) because it was what everybody was doing. But then I started to read about self-publishing and it really seemed more my style. I really like to be creatively in charge of my whole project. I get to dictate all my marketing, my cover art concept, my book title (publishers usually control that and my book titles for both of my pen names are important to the books themselves), side materials like book trailers, etc.

It’s just really important to me to be able to produce my own work. I started indie publishing under my other pen name, Zoe Winters. I was SUPER loud (and perhaps even a little bit obnoxious LOL) about my views about the validity of being indie. But I was so loud because people were letting others tell them they weren’t real writers simply based on who financed the project. Which made NO sense to me. Now I’m not so much in the “indie rah rah” scene. I’m more focused on writing and producing my work and cultivating my fan base.

I’ve also come to understand that being indie isn’t for everybody, and I respect that. But I know it’s for me. :) And though it’s stressful sometimes, I love it!


About The Author

Kitty Thomas writes dark literary erotica that explores power. This work is fiction and meant for an adult audience. The author does not endorse or condone any of the behavior carried out by characters in her stories.

Her work is not “erotic romance”. Often on some level it is about love and/or obsession. Often the couple in some way ends up “together”, but the work should not be expected to follow the conventions of any type of genre romance, erotic or otherwise.

Inspiration for Kitty’s work comes from many sources including Story of O, Nine and a Half Weeks, and the work of Claudia D. Christian.

Check out her website

What Are You Reading Monday? #52






Books I completed in the last week are:
*Reading a lot of children’s book – I’m going to make a challenge of the titles found in 1001 Children’s Books to Read before I Grow Up (just need help with a button)



Tweet! By Rebekah Matthew (ebook)


Bookmarks are still living in the middle of:
*Reading a lot of children’s book – I’m going to make a challenge of the titles found in 1001 Children’s Books to Read before I Grow Up (just need help with a button)



Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George (p70)
Thread Reckoning by Amanda Lee ( An Embrodidery Mystery #3) (p138)
Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope by Gabrielle Giffords (audio) (CD5)


Up Next:


Deadly Notions by Elizabeth Lynn Casey (Souther Sewing Circle #4)

Reviews posted this week:




Author Guest Posts/Interviews:


Blog Tour (Dark Mind) : Giveaway/Review - The Last Girl by Kitty Thomas (April 30)
Book Launch : Unspent Time by Graham Parke (May 1)
BookBlast Tour: Elemental by Emily White (May 1)
Blog Tour (Bewtiching Book Tours) : Dark Lullaby by Mayra Calvani (May 5)
Blog Tour (Bewtiching Book Tours) : The Affair of the Porcelain Dog by Jess Faraday (May 7)
Blog Tour (WOW): Author Interview & Giveaway - The Whip by Karen Kondazian (May 8)
BookBlast Tour (WOW): Chique Secrets of Dolce Amore by Barbara Conelli (May 25)
+Author Interview (Bewitching Book Tours): Book My Merlin Awakening by Priya Ardia (TBA)
+Blog Tour (Novel Publicity): Speculation by Edmund Jorgensen (TBA – June)
+Blog Tour (Bewitching Book Tours): 77 Days in September by Ray Gorham

Special Blog Hop Giveaways



May Day Hop (May 1 - 7)

Books still needing to have reviews written (as opposed to the ones that are simply awaiting posting):


January Brings the Snow by Sara Coldridge
Hercubear vs. The Cyclops Rabbit by Lesley Williams (ebook)
Caterpillars Don’t Check Email by Calee M Lee, illustration: Jacob Lee (ebook)
My Friend the Bear by J J Ley (ebook)
Animals At The Zoo – Volume 4 by G Alexander (ebook)
My Lucky Life In And Out of Show Business by Dick Van Dyke (audio)
Easter Bunnies Everywhere by Ranae Rea (ebook)
Airplane Car by Cinda Lee (ebook)
Devil’s Food Cake Murder by Joanna Fluke (Audio)
Tweet! By Rebekah Matthew (ebook)

Giveaways on the blog this week and in coming weeks:





Freebie Friday - Play for Pizza by John Grisham (April 20 - 27) Winner –
Maryland Statehood Giveaway - Annapolis byWilliam Martin (April 28 – May 5) Winner -

Giveaways Winners


Freebie Friday - To Catch An Heiress by Julia Quinn (January 20 - 27) Winner – Julie Witt
Freebie Friday - The Client by John Grisham (January 27 – Feb 3) Winner – Carol Wong
Freebie Friday – Sundays at Tiffany by James Patterson (April 13 – 20) Winner -

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Maryland Statehood Giveaway - Annapolis by William Martin (ends 5/4)


From the days of pirate raids on the Chesapeake to swift-boat actions in Vietnam, the Staffords and their traditional rivals, the Parrishes, struggle with foreign enemies and each other to build a navy and a nation. They march across the deserts of Tripoli, sail into the South Seas to battle the British and dally with the native girls, fight aboard the Merrimac and the Monitor, fly into the battle of Midway, and look into the living faces of all four men on Mount Rushmore.

When Stafford descendant Susan Browne sets out to film a documentary about her famous ancestry, her work sweeps her into the past, to celebrate Stafford victories, mourn their losses, and confront their secrets. Annapolis is William Martin’s most ambitious novel, a tale of romance and courage, honor and patriotism, an ode to the men and women who have made the proud traditions of the United States Navy.


Monday, April 23, 2012

What Are You Reading Monday? #51






Books I completed in the last week are:
*Reading a lot of children’s book – I’m going to make a challenge of the titles found in 1001 Children’s Books to Read before I Grow Up (just need help with a button)



Death Threads by Elizabeth Lynn Casey (P210)


Bookmarks are still living in the middle of:
*Reading a lot of children’s book – I’m going to make a challenge of the titles found in 1001 Children’s Books to Read before I Grow Up (just need help with a button)



Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George (p50)
Thread Reckoning by Amanda Lee ( An Embrodidery Mystery #3) (p11)
Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope by Gabrielle Giffords (audio) (CD1)


Up Next:


Deadly Notions by Elizabeth Lynn Casey (Souther Sewing Circle #4)

Reviews posted this week:


Death Threads by Elizabeth Lynn Casey (Souther Sewing Circle #2) ,


Author Guest Posts/Interviews:


Blog Tour (Dark Mind) : Giveaway/Review - The Last Girl by Kitty Thomas (April 30)
Book Launch : Unspent Time by Graham Parke (May 1)
BookBlast Tour: Elemental by Emily White (May 1)
Blog Tour (Bewtiching Book Tours) : Dark Lullaby by Mayra Calvani (May 5)
Blog Tour (Bewtiching Book Tours) : The Affair of the Porcelain Dog by Jess Faraday (May 7)
Blog Tour (WOW): Author Interview & Giveaway - The Whip by Karen Kondazian (May 8)


Special Blog Hop Giveaways



May Day Hop (May 1 - 7)

Books still needing to have reviews written (as opposed to the ones that are simply awaiting posting):


January Brings the Snow by Sara Coldridge
Hercubear vs. The Cyclops Rabbit by Lesley Williams (ebook)
Caterpillars Don’t Check Email by Calee M Lee, illustration: Jacob Lee (ebook)
My Friend the Bear by J J Ley (ebook)
Animals At The Zoo – Volume 4 by G Alexander (ebook)
My Lucky Life In And Out of Show Business by Dick Van Dyke (audio)
Easter Bunnies Everywhere by Ranae Rea (ebook)
Airplane Car by Cinda Lee (ebook)
Devil’s Food Cake Murder by Joanna Fluke (Audio)


Giveaways on the blog this week and in coming weeks:





Freebie Friday – Sundays at Tiffany by James Patterson (April 13 – 20) Winner -
Freebie Friday - Play for Pizza by John Grisham (April 20 - 27) Winner –
Maryland Statehood Giveaway - Annapolis byWilliam Martin (April 28 – May 5) Winner -

Giveaways Winners


Freebie Friday - To Catch An Heiress by Julia Quinn (January 20 - 27) Winner – Julie Witt
Freebie Friday - The Client by John Grisham (January 27 – Feb 3) Winner – Carol Wong

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Author Guest Post/Giveaway - Amy L Peterson - From Zero To Four Kids in Thirty Seconds





First, thank you Sue, for giving me this opportunity and for being a host for my April 8-28th book tour. I also appreciate your honest review, if, of course, it was a good one. If it’s not, then, well, wish me better luck next time.

From Zero to Four Kids in Thirty Seconds is my humorous story about falling hook, line and sinker for a guy with four kids, a VW Rabbit with 295,000 miles on it and an Army cot for his bed. He ate more macaroni and cheese than a second grader, and had enough fishing gear to open his own tackle shop. The kids were three, five, 13 and 15, and as my mother often reminded me, I hadn’t a clue what I was getting into.

It is because I didn’t have a clue what I was getting into that I wrote a light-hearted, yet honest and helpful book for other stepmoms and future stepmoms. Throughout the book I include 70 tips, including “Tip #57: You may become grateful that holidays only come around once a year.” At the first holiday concert I attended, my beau acted like “the fifth kid,” the musicians never hit the same high note at the same time, and I was the one that had to say “Happy holidays” to his Ex when my beau couldn’t bring himself to do so. Yet, it was more entertaining than any other date I’d ever been on.

The excerpt below is from Chapter 9, “Can’t We Just Duct Tape Them Together and Send Them Outside?” This chapter describes all four kids moving into a two-bedroom apartment with Mark and me for the entire month of July. The chapter includes “Tip #40: Getting kids to do simple things usually isn’t simple.”


It took a couple of days to get into a regular workday routine, because for several days adjustments had to be made. For example, because Mark and I were both tired when we came home and the kids were still full of energy, I suggested that we solicit help from the two oldest kids to clean up the kitchen. This, however, was not one of my better ideas.

“Where does this go?” one asked.

“Do you want to keep these leftovers?” the other asked.

“Does this go in the dishwasher?”

“Do I really have to hand-wash these pots and pans?”

“Just clean everything up and put things where it seems logical to put them,” Mark finally said, his patience wearing thin.

After dinner, Mark plopped down on the futon and told the kids to go outside for a while and chase cars. As we watched the news on TV, we analyzed the child-chore situation and agreed that this was the first time the teenagers had had to clean up, so next time it would be easier.

The next day, Mark and I returned from work to find two teenagers watching TV on the futon, surrounded by a pile of ice-cream bowls, empty glasses of pop, and an empty bag of Cheetos.

I approached this head-on.

“Uh, Mark, could you maybe get the big kids to do something about all the stuff in the living room, you know, before someone steps on something?”

He walked into the living room, barked out an order and everything was carried out of the living room and dumped into the sink.

“Uh, could you maybe throw the garbage away, rinse the dishes, put them in the dishwasher, that kind of stuff?” I asked meekly.

This went on for several evenings -- kids made messes, Mark barked orders, kids cleaned up messes, and I lamely suggested ways to improve the cleanup effort. Until one evening, I finally had had enough. I was tired. The kids had too much energy. It wasn’t right.

“Okay,” I announced when dinner was over, “it’s time for all kids to start clearing their own dishes, rinsing them and putting them in the dishwasher. And any dishes you use before or after dinner must be rinsed and likewise put into the dishwasher.”

All of sudden it grew dead quiet in the dining room. All eyes were on Mark. He looked at each of them, then at me, and after a moment’s delay, said, “Good idea. And no more afternoon snacks.”

There was a strange moaning noise as the two big kids got up, dragged themselves and their dishes away from the table as if weighted down by anvils, rinsed the dishes using ten gallons of hot water each and finally lowered their sterilized plates into the dishwasher.

That night, I began my Rinse and Load Campaign in the hopes that all four children would finish growing up automatically rinsing their dishes and putting them in the dishwasher. For the next few nights, I cheered them on with, “Rinse and load, rinse and load! All ya `gotta do is rinse and load!”

On the fourth night I merely yelled, “Hey you!” when Elizabeth and Simone tried to sneak off without rinsing and loading their dishes.

“You know,” a very sleepy Mark reminded me one night, “Simone and Samantha take care of the finer details when it comes to caring for the little kids. Like brushing their hair, washing their hands before dinner, showing them how to put their carrots in their napkin so they don’t have to eat them.”

“So are you suggesting that they shouldn’t have to put their dishes in the dishwasher?” I asked.

“Naw,” he mumbled. “We just have to remember to thank them now and again.”

“Thanks, kids,” I whispered.

And with that, we both fell dead asleep

***

To learn more about how I coped with four kids, you just might have to buy my book at Amazon.com. It is available as an e-book and a paperback. Older review comments are summarized on my web site.

*****
About the Author




Amy L Peterson is a happily married wife, stepmother, author, amateur photographer, outdoors woman and keeper of numerous spoiled fuzzy animals. Her writing is diverse, her photography of animals and wildlife unique, and her pets have trained her how to get what they want.

Amy met Mark at the Michigan Department of Natural Resources in the early 1990s and married him after he carried a rubber raft, oars, foot pump, camping gear, and fishing gear to 10,000 feet while backpacking in Montana. In addition to his prowess, Amy was attracted to Mark’s limitless supply of fishing tackle, and his interest in every kind of critter. The fact that he came with four children in denial about until she married him.

Amy summarized just some of the fun of entering into instant stepmotherhood in From Zero to Four Kids in Thirty Seconds. This humorous, entertaining book includes over 70 tips for stepmothers and women thinking about taking such a plunge. These tips are tried and true since all four of Mark’s children survived their time with Amy. Amongst the kids is one social worker, one mechanical engineer, and two college students.

Between bouts of being a wife and stepmother, Amy spends way too many hours photographing and writing about wildlife. Her publications and photos have appeared in Grit, Moxie, Montana, Travel Impulse, Women’s World, Bonaire Nights, and Pacific Coast Sportfishing. Her article about Nunavet wildlife was featured on the Nueltin Lodge web page, along with a photo of a monstrous pike she claims to have caught.

Check out her website

Friday, April 20, 2012

Freebie Friday - Playing for Pizza by John Grisham


From GoodReads:

Rick Dockery was the third-string quarterback for the Cleveland Browns. In the AFC Championship game against Denver, to the surprise and dismay of virtually everyone, Rick actually got into the game. With a 17-point lead and just minutes to go, Rick provided what was arguably the worst single performance in the history of the NFL. Overnight, he became a national laughingstock and, of course, was immediately cut by the Browns and shunned by all other teams.

But all Rick knows is football, and he insists that his agent, Arnie, find a team that needs him. Against enormous odds Arnie finally locates just such a team and informs Rick that, miraculously, he can in fact now be a starting quarterback. Great, says Rick—for which team?

The mighty Panthers of Parma, Italy.

Yes, Italians do play American football, to one degree or another, and the Parma Panthers desperately want a former NFL player—any former NFL player—at their helm. So Rick reluctantly agrees to play for the Panthers—at least until a better offer comes along—and heads off to Italy. He knows nothing about Parma—not even where it is—has never been to Europe, and doesn’t speak or understand a word of Italian.

To say that Italy—the land of opera, fine wines, extremely small cars, romance, and Football Americano— holds a few surprises for Rick Dockery would be something of an understatement


Monday, April 16, 2012

What Are You Reading Monday? #50








Books I completed in the last week are:
*Reading a lot of children’s book – I’m going to make a challenge of the titles found in 1001 Children’s Books to Read before I Grow Up (just need help with a button)



Death Threads by Elizabeth Lynn Casey (P210)


Bookmarks are still living in the middle of:
*Reading a lot of children’s book – I’m going to make a challenge of the titles found in 1001 Children’s Books to Read before I Grow Up (just need help with a button)



Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George (p50)
Thread Reckoning by Amanda Lee ( An Embrodidery Mystery #3) (p11)
Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope by Gabrielle Giffords (audio) (CD1)


Up Next:


Deadly Notions by Elizabeth Lynn Casey (Souther Sewing Circle #4)

Reviews posted this week:


Death Threads by Elizabeth Lynn Casey (Souther Sewing Circle #2) ,


Author Guest Posts/Interviews:


Blog Tour (Dark Mind) : Giveaway/Review - The Last Girl by Kitty Thomas (April 30)
Book Launch : Unspent Time by Graham Parke (May 1)
BookBlast Tour: Elemental by Emily White (May 1)
Blog Tour (WOW): Author Interview & Giveaway - The Whip by Karen Kondazian (May 8)


Special Blog Hop Giveaways



May Day Hop (May 1 - 7)

Books still needing to have reviews written (as opposed to the ones that are simply awaiting posting):


January Brings the Snow by Sara Coldridge
Hercubear vs. The Cyclops Rabbit by Lesley Williams (ebook)
Caterpillars Don’t Check Email by Calee M Lee, illustration: Jacob Lee (ebook)
My Friend the Bear by J J Ley (ebook)
Animals At The Zoo – Volume 4 by G Alexander (ebook)
My Lucky Life In And Out of Show Business by Dick Van Dyke (audio)
Easter Bunnies Everywhere by Ranae Rea (ebook)
Airplane Car by Cinda Lee (ebook)
Devil’s Food Cake Murder by Joanna Fluke (Audio)


Giveaways on the blog this week and in coming weeks:





Freebie Friday – Sundays at Tiffany by James Patterson (April 13 – 20) Winner -
Freebie Friday - Play for Pizza by John Grisham (April 20 - 27) Winner –
Maryland Statehood Giveaway - Annapolis byWilliam Martin (April 28 – May 5) Winner -

Giveaways Winners


Freebie Friday - To Catch An Heiress by Julia Quinn (January 20 - 27) Winner – Julie Witt
Freebie Friday - The Client by John Grisham (January 27 – Feb 3) Winner – Carol Wong

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Book Review: Death Threads by Elizabeth Lynn Casey (Souther Sewing Circle #2)



Title: Death Threads (Southern Sewing Circle #2)
Author: Elizabeth Lynn Casey
Publisher: Berkeley Prime Crime Mystery
ISBN:978-0-425-23341-2
Release Date: March 2010
Pages: 280
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Format: Paperbook
Source: Loan SIL

Back Cover:
The members of South Carolin’s Sweet Briar Ladies Society Sewing Circle enjoy their gossip, but the new Yankee librarian, Tori Sinclair, is really giving them something to talk about.

Tori Sinclair is basking in the warmth of her new circle of friends. That is until local author Colby Calhoun reveals an unflattering secret about the town’s historic past. He soon finds that when you fray the stitches on the ladies’ cloak of southern hospitality, things are bound to fall apart…

Then Colby disappears, leaving a trail of blood but few clues to his possible murder. Tori looks to her sewing circle to help her cut through Sweet Briar’s tight weave of ancient feuds and alliances to find him. But when she sees a pattern of townsfolk’s age-old southern pride standing in the way of justice, she knows it’s time to unravel the mystery….

Mine:
Well I will definitely be reading book one. I love the charm that the book portrays in the southern small town.

Tori (the new town librarian) seems to have a knack for being around when things go awry. But lucky for all around her she has a keen mind for solving the mystery.

When local author Colby Calhoun publishes some new facts about the small town (moonshining), people take offense and he disappears. Most citizens are not pleased about the new facts about the town and blame Colby. In the beginning they are not willing to look for him, but Tori won’t give up trying to solve the mystery.

Surprisingly the “bunny lady” is the key to everything.


Reading Challenges
Merely Mystery Reading Challenge
2012 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge
2012 Cozy Mystery Reading Challenge
2012 100+ Books in A Year Reading Challenge
2012 Mystery & Suspense Reading Challenge
Crusin Thru The Cozies Reading Challenge 2012
50 States Challenge
2nds Challenge 2012
Pages Read Challenge
2012 100+ Books Reading Challenge
101 Books in 1001 Days Challenge


Friday, April 13, 2012

Freebie Friday - Sunday at Tiffany by James Patterson


AT IMAGINARY FRIEND
Jane Margaux is a lonely little girl. Her mother, the powerful head of a New York theater company, makes time for her only once a week, for their Sunday trip to admire jewelry at Tiffany's. Jane has only one friend: a handsome, comforting, funny man named Michael. He's perfect. But only she can see him. Michael can't stay forever, though. On Jane's eighth birthday he leaves, promising that she'll forget him soon. He was there to help her until she was old enough to manage on her own, and now there are other children who need his help.

AN UNEXPECTED LOVE
Years later, in her thirties, Jane is just as alone as she was as a child. And despite her own success as a playwright, she is even more trapped by her overbearing mother. Then she meets Michael again--as handsome, smart and perfect as she remembers him to be. But not even Michael knows the reason they've really been reunited.

AND AN UNFORGETTABLE TWIST
Sundays at Tiffany's is a heart-wrenching love story that surpasses all expectations of why these people have been brought together. With the breathtaking momentum and gripping emotional twists that have made James Patterson a bestseller all over the world, Sundays at Tiffany's takes an altogether fresh look at the timeless and transforming power of love.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Blog Tour: The House of Order by John Paul Jaramillo


Title: The House of Order
Author: John Paul Jaramillo
Publisher: Anaphora Literary Press
ISBN: 978-1-037536-16-9
Release Date: 2011
Pages: 105
Genre: Short Story Collection
Format: Paperback
Source: Novel Publicity Blog Tour


I do have to say the cover was a little scary, but the stories inside are intriguing.

Although I don’t read many short story anthologies – this one was interesting. The perspective was very different from my own background, so made the stories different to me.

Laundromat Story - I don’t think I’ve spent a lot of time at Laundromats (I remember my mom washing our curtains one time at the Laundromat). The people there were very interesting and the stories they told were part of what was intertwined.

Family Album - Tell the story of some of the family and some of the circumstances of growing up. The family dynamics are those of a large family. It’s wonderful how the family can support each other and tell the history of their siblings. The younger generation is intrigued by what was done and how they came to the US.



Wanna win a $50 gift card or an autographed copy of The House of Order? Well, there are two ways to enter...
  1. Leave a comment on my blog. One random commenter during this tour will win a $50 gift card. For the full list of participating blogs, visit the official House of Order tour page.
  2. Enter the Rafflecopter contest! I've posted the contest form below, or you can enter on the official House of Order tour page--either way works just as well.
About the author: John Paul Jaramillo grew up in Southern Colorado but now lives, writes and teaches in Springfield, Illinois. He earned his MFA in creative writing (fiction) from Oregon State University and, currently, holds the position of Associate Professor of English in the Arts and Humanities Department of Lincoln Land Community College. Connect with John Paul on his website, Facebook, Twitter or GoodReads.

Get The House of Order on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.


Monday, April 9, 2012

What Are You Reading Monday? #49








Books I completed in the last week are:
*Reading a lot of children’s book – I’m going to make a challenge of the titles found in 1001 Children’s Books to Read before I Grow Up (just need help with a button)


Devil’s Food Cake Murder by Joanna Fluke (Audio)


Bookmarks are still living in the middle of:
*Reading a lot of children’s book – I’m going to make a challenge of the titles found in 1001 Children’s Books to Read before I Grow Up (just need help with a button)



Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George (p50)
Death Threads by Elizabeth Lynn Casey (P210)
A Spoonful of Poison by M C Beaton (audio) (CD1)


Up Next:


1022 Evergreen Place by Debbie Macomber (audio)


Reviews posted this week:




Author Guest Posts/Interviews:


Blog Tour: (Novel Publicity) The House of Order by John Paul Jaramillio (April 11)
Blog Tour (Dark Mind) : Giveaway/Review - The Last Girl by Kitty Thomas (April 30)
Blog Tour (WOW): Author Interview & Giveaway - The Whip by Karen Kondazian (May 8)



Special Blog Hop Giveaways



May Day Hop (May 1 - 7)

Books still needing to have reviews written (as opposed to the ones that are simply awaiting posting):


January Brings the Snow by Sara Coldridge
Hercubear vs. The Cyclops Rabbit by Lesley Williams (ebook)
Caterpillars Don’t Check Email by Calee M Lee, illustration: Jacob Lee (ebook)
My Friend the Bear by J J Ley (ebook)
Animals At The Zoo – Volume 4 by G Alexander (ebook)
My Lucky Life In And Out of Show Business by Dick Van Dyke (audio)
Easter Bunnies Everywhere by Ranae Rea (ebook)
Airplane Car by Cinda Lee (ebook)
Devil’s Food Cake Murder by Joanna Fluke (Audio)


Giveaways on the blog this week and in coming weeks:





Freebie Friday – Sundays at Tiffany by James Patterson (April 13 – 20) Winner -
Freebie Friday - Play for Pizza by John Grisham (April 20 - 27) Winner –

Giveaways Winners


Freebie Friday - To Catch An Heiress by Julia Quinn (January 20 - 27) Winner – Julie Witt
Freebie Friday - The Client by John Grisham (January 27 – Feb 3) Winner – Carol Wong

Friday, April 6, 2012

Author Interview (Novel Publicity): Justin Ordoñez ’s Sykosa

Please enjoy this interview with Justin Ordoñez, author of the YA novel (for 18+ readers), Sykosa. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including $550 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, and 5 autographed copies of the book.

 

1. Who or What is a Sykosa?

Sykosa is a sixteen year old junior in high school. She’s the main character of a novel I’ve written by the same name. For a quick rundown, she attends a prestigious preparatory academy, is part of the school’s coolest clique, “the Queens,” and she has started dating the boy she’s secretly been crushing on for a year, Tom. It’s taken a year to start dating him because A) there was this SUPER HUGE thing that happened during her sophomore year, and it delayed things and made being intimate with Tom difficult, and B) she kinda starts seeing stars around him and loses the ability to behave in any type of serious manner.

2. Why is Sykosa different from other novels?

It’s different because youth driven literature has become full of metaphors for danger that seem to have split into either science fiction or fantasy. (Before I go any further, I like both genres, so I’m not being a snob!) Sometimes, it feels like instead of dealing with real problems, it’s easier to have kids use magic. And instead of facing real contemporary issues, kids should fight aliens or something. These metaphors are meant to represent real life, but I fear they’ve slightly crossed over into a bit of denial about contemporary Americanism, which is a hard topic to write about since our country is in an identity crisis, and has been for about 11 years. Sykosa is an attempt to counter-act this trend. When I was young, I read books about young people that blew me away like One Fat Summer and The Outsiders. These books felt real, and it felt like I could slip into them at any moment. The writing was gritty, it was unapologetic, it was brilliant. I just don’t see many of those around, and I wanted to write one, and I wanted to write one with a female protagonist.

3. Why did you chose cross-gender writing?

Toward the end of the my high school education, I was allowed to split my school day from my normal, traditional education and a newer style, self-directed educational program. I took an English class where my English teacher, someone who I’m still friends with to this day, gave me only one assignment for an entire semester, and it was, “Perform a deep self-evaluation of yourself and your writing and come up with one goal for what you’re going to improve on.” At the time, I was seriously into writing, and had taken to writing a few books per year, but most of them were in the first person, and they were just me talking about myself. The issue was that I had been in a serious car accident the year prior and I had injured a friend in it. (He fully recovered, but never forgave me). I had tried to write a first person story about myself many times since the accident, but I was constantly failing because I was dealing with some lingering self-loathing and guilt. As a way to get away from it, I decided I wanted to work on a story I had been thinking about for a while, but that I never started writing for one super scary reason.

The main character was a teenage girl.

Odd as it might sound, I was intimidated by the fact that the main character was a woman. So I faced my fear and said my goal would be to write women better, and I proceeded to work with several teachers and several female students to help me craft a female character that was realistic, yet met my vision of her as well. This challenge stuck with me into my adult life, and it eventually found its ultimate form in Sykosa.

4. How will I know I’m a fan of Sykosa?

I’m glad you asked! Sykosa.com has tons of stuff to help you determine if this book is right for you. Below you’ll see some humorous diagrams I’ve made, but at the website you can read an excerpt of the book, watch the book trailer, read character profiles and really get a solid understanding of Sykosa’s world.

5. What kind of stuff influenced you to write Sykosa?

The primary motivators for Sykosa were Buffy The Vampire Slayer and It by Stephen King. It so happened, in 2001, I moved in with a woman I was dating. She was a fan of Buffy, so I had to watch it and became a fan myself. While most people were probably drawn to the vampire killing, it was the last thing I was interested in. I thought Whedon created an interesting cast of personalities and analyzing them was something I enjoyed. At the time, I was reading It. What I liked about It was the small town, insular feel to the novel, and how the inhabitants of this town were able to show a “front” of values, but were secretly hiding and allowing evil to proliferate all around them. From these two things came Sykosa, a girl who does not have any super powers, nor does she kill any vampires, but she did have a traumatic event happen in her life, and she’s struggling to deal with it, and its made no easier by the fact that her small, insular parochial school has decided to ignore the incident.

6. What is your most favorite and least favorite part of Sykosa?

The most favorite part is easy. It’s Sykosa’s best friend Niko, who just gets my blood pumping every time I have to write her. I love Sykosa, she’s definitely the main character and the story would never work without her, but I could sing Niko’s praises all day and all night. She’s such an interesting young woman and to see how she’s developed over the years as I’ve written the story has been a real treat. When someone first reads Sykosa and then decides to talk to me about it, I’m secretly waiting to hear them mention Niko. It’s never the first thing they say, it’s never the last, it’s always sandwiched somewhere in the middle, “By the way, this Niko—I love her!”

My least favorite part… Wow, that’s hard to answer, isn’t it? In the middle of the book, there’s a section called an Interlude, which is a story structure that Stephen King used in It, and that I borrowed as an homage to it. There’s a section where Sykosa, Niko and her mother are driving in a car together. I swear, I rewrote it fifty times—maybe more—and it’s never read right to me. It just never has.

7. What kind of writing schedule do you keep?

Let’s put it this way: I recently heard a story that there are “cat writers” and “ox writers.” I’m an ox writer. I put in the time, every day, whether I’m feeling it or not, whether its terrible or not, even if I know I’ll just end up deleting it, I push through it and I do it anyway, and somewhere along the way, it ends up coming together as a story.

8. What’s the coolest story you have from writing Sykosa?

Sykosa is interesting in the sense that it took me a long time to finish it. The first couple years I was writing it, I was really just writing stories about the characters, feeling everyone out, figuring out how they fit together, but there was no plot holding it together or pushing anything forward. In 2003, I seriously debated quitting, as it had been the hardest piece of writing I had ever taken on, and to be honest, I was somewhat used to overcoming challenges easily and without a lot of adversity. And while I usually worked on the book on my bus ride to and from work, this one beautiful, sunny day, I decided not to. I sat on the bus and kept the binder of writing closed on my lap. When the bus stopped at Pioneer Square, a homeless black woman sat next to me. She noticed the book, then said to me, “So you’re writing a novel?” I couldn’t tell how she knew that, but I said, “Yes, I am.” She asked me what it was about, but I’m terrible at talking about my work, so I gave her the gist, “teenage girl” “high school” “likes her boyfriend” etc, etc. The conversation lasted one stop, when the bus opened its doors, the woman reached out with her hand, put it on my own (which was clinging to the book like I was protecting it or something) and she said, “Justin, I want you to know, God blesses this book. He blesses it, and you can’t quit.”

I had never mentioned to her that I was quitting it.

I started working on it after she left the bus, and I never spoke or saw her again.

True story.

9. Do you have any tips for people who are struggling with writing or want to take it up?

I do. First off, keep struggling. It’s a worthwhile struggle. There’s a lot of be gained from writing. And for those who want to take it up and for those who are already writing, I can’t stress this enough: Draft. And by the I mean, write in drafts, don’t sit in a chair and challenge yourself to make it perfect now, write it perfect now, but instead write in drafts. If something only gets 5% better, that’s fine, cause it’s just one draft of what will be many, and eventually, that 5%, that 3%, that 7%—it adds up and you end up with a really good story. But, if you try to knock it out of the park every time you step up to the plate, you’ll swing the bat a whole lot, and you’ll be tired and exhausted when you’re done, but you won’t have a ton to show for it. That’s when most people quit. They think, “I can’t do this” or, “I don’t have the talent.” They don’t understand they’re doing it wrong, that’s all.

10. When you’re not writing, you’re…

Singing karaoke. I go once a week with some close friends of mine. It’s a fantastic release, also you get feedback from an audience, which you sometimes miss from writing, and you can forget how exciting it is to share your work with others. My favorite song to sing right now is Gaga’s “You and I.” Gaga has got a great voice that she can make raspy if she needs to, and I’ve got a voice that can match the raspier songs, so I think I do her proud. Otherwise I’m singing the Killers, Kings of Leon, Oasis or Lauryn Hill.

 

As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the Sykosa eBook edition is just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes. The prizes include $550 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, and 5 autographed copies of the book.

All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment--easy to enter; easy to win!

To win the prizes:
  1. Purchase your copy of Sykosa for just 99 cents
  2. Fill-out the simple form on Novel Publicity
  3. Visit today’s featured social media event
  4. BONUS: Leave a comment on this post*
Leave a comment, win $100:

One random tour commenter will win a $100 Amazon gift card. Just leave a comment on this post, and you'll be entered to win. For a full list of participating blogs, check out the official tour page. You can enter on just my blog or on all of them. Get out there and network!

About the book: YA fiction for the 18+ crowd. Sykosa is a sixteen-year-old girl trying to reclaim her identity after an act of violence shatters her life and the lives of her friends. Set at her best friend’s cottage, for what will be a weekend of unsupervised badness, Sykosa will have to finally confront the major players and issues from this event, as well as decide if she wants to lose her virginity to Tom, her first boyfriend, and the boy who saved her from danger. Get it on Amazon.

About the author: Sykosa is Justin Ordoñez's life's work. He hopes to one day settle down with a nerdy, somewhat introverted woman and own 1 to 4 dogs. Visit Justin on his website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Author Guest Post (Novel Publicity): Justin Ordoñez ’s Sykosa

Please enjoy this guest post by Justin Ordoñez, author of the YA novel (for 18+ readers), Sykosa. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including $550 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, and 5 autographed copies of the book.

 

Marketing, Or how I Proved the Existence of Hell.

Self-publishing requires either A) no skills and being totally deluded as to the reality of success in the book market, or B) no skills and the reality you’re going to have to learn a lot. And that’s a simple fact. Between writing, editing, formatting, choosing a printer, choosing retailers, web development, content generation, typesetting, book trailers and the fifty other things I’m forgetting, you’re certain to encounter a challenge for which you are in no way prepared, and not only are you not prepared, your desire to become prepared hovers somewhere near the axis of zero.

I discovered mine on January 11, 2012--Marketing.

Marketing’s an entirely deceptive term. When a thing is so multi-dimensional and other-worldly abstract, we expect it come coupled with tongue-tying terminology. I mean, who would touch marketing if it was done by someone called a, “Surpurgodunintrihumanthofeelemo-ologist?” (Stands for: “Surveyor, purveyor, and Godlike understander of all intricate human thoughts, feelings, and emotions.”) No one. And that’s just the beginning! As it’s really only one aspect of marketing. You not only need to communicate with the potential book buyer, but with the many marketing channels available, i.e. book bloggers, book reviewers, book recommendation sites, book social networking sites, and many, many more. Essentially, in order to succeed at marketing, when you’re not busy being a social butterfly, expanding your pool of contacts and showing a legitimate interest in people’s lives, you need to be a socially reclusive, type-A, mega-jerk who produces the stuff that gets sent to all the people who are now your contacts.

As this is seriously an enormously enormous undertaking, I did what I’d advise any author do. Write Novel Publicity and get some help. Now, I know what you’re thinking: Problem solved, right? How could it be that marketing is such a huge undertaking you cannot count on Novel Publicity alone? Unfortunately, while Novel Publicity is your access to the market, you are still your own personal generator of content. Guest blog posts, interviews, all manner of interactions still come from you, and they’re a perspective reader’s introduction to your writing, your style, your passion, and ultimately if they’re interested in your work.

These are elements I’m fine with.

Or…

These are elements I thought I was fine with.

After all, it can’t be that hard, can it? Blog-post-smog-post. Promotional-images-smosional-images. You’re a brilliant author who wrote an entire novel, what can this world throw at you that you can’t beat back with your bare fists? Well, a lot, and way more than you think, too. Do you know how to use Calibre? HTML? Gimp? Neither did I, but thanks to our good friend YouTube, I was able to spend a what-would-be-hilarious-if-it-weren’t-so-depressingly-true amount of time learning them. And it was going fine—sure, I was underslept, over-sugar’d, and had begun to scratch myself so frequently I was breaking skin in more than one or two places, but aside from all that, I was a marketing genius! I was…lying to myself. I was scratching my head frequently, and I was encountering a new, unforeseen challenge at every corner. (Novel Publicity would gladly have helped me, but I wanted their time to be used for, you know, generating publicity, not a grade school-style education seminar for me). Then, it finally happened, I realized what I had needed to realize since the beginning.

Children are evil.

No, seriously, they are. Stay with me on this one.

It happened while I was working on the image below.

Let me preface the story like this.

Being an adult means your time getting screwed over on the playground is over. Well, it’s not really over. Adults are as catty as children, but it’s different. Adults are so covert, so pathological, and so politically calculating in their screwing over of others that it trumps all human understanding. Kids simply call you a name and move on, so I suppose I mean to say that, as an adult, your days of outright mockery are over. No longer will you be subject to a choir of second grade girls singing, “Jus-tin, bus-tin, the big fat…” as the song dies since they had called you fat, there was nothing obvious to rhyme it with, and there was no reserve hatred left in them, and since they’re not total nut job psychotics like grown-ups, they move onto the sensitive boy who loves to draw unicorns and hearts.

As you may have guessed, I was talking about myself.

And I was wrong.

My days of outright mockery had only begun!

Why, you ask?

Because I decided to self-publish my novel, and because I lacked skills. The image above did not make itself. In fact, I’m only 20% certain of why it turned out the way it did. Much like a child, I bought in on total faith that the directions I was being given would work, then knocked this “learning comprehension” business aside. And why do I use child in that example? Well, being such an amateur, you won’t know how to correctly ask Google for answers. For instance, in the text up top, a professional knows to type, “How do you create text with a radius of so-and-so so it appears like an arch?” You, on the other hand, type, “How do you make text look like a rainbow?” That’s right. You’re gonna ask as if you were a six-year old, so guess what? You’re gonna get search results from midget-geniuses who’re so young they’re struggling to lose that lisp one gets when learning English.

With your earphones plugged it, that little voice starts at you in much the way that girl (or boy or still girl given your gender and sexual orientation) looked at you when you innocently sat next to her on the bus, that look of, “Who are you and what makes you think you don’t have to maintain fifty feet of distance from me at all times?” “Okay, guys, like, this is simple, like, first thing we’re gonna do is create a path.” Click-click-click-click-click-click! “Okay, looks nothing like what you want, but that’s fine, we’ll fix it later.” Click-click-click-click-click! “Okay, here we go, we color to alpha, create a new layer, color to alpha again.” Click-click-click-click-click! “Take the path tool, debate buying a shotgun now that I’ve convinced you you’ve failed at life, then change the angle, now, if you want to change the color, you use the select tool, but not like you’re used to using it, I’ll now proceed to click around the screen like a swarm of hornets attacking an intruder and not explain a single step.” Click-click-click-click-click-click-click-click! “Alright guys, wasn’t that simple? Make sure you submit your humiliatingly easy questions so my buddies and I can laugh at you before we record the next lesson.”

How long did it take you to read that?

Divide that by four, and that’s how fast the kid said it.

(Blood pressure…rising).

In a way, it’s not the kid’s fault. Children have brains that learn everything quickly, effortlessly, and with no respect for it. It’s not till you’re a teenager when you hit places where, despite your effort, you’re not gonna learn it. Rationally, I understand this. But, as a human being, in a dark corner of my favorite local eatery, constantly pausing/playing/pausing/playing/pausing/playing while I toggle between Firefox/Gimp/Firefox/Gimp/Firefox/Gimp in an ever-failing attempt to emulate this six year old Einstein, I realize: It’s kind of amazing such a young kid knows this stuff. Still, I don’t know if I admire this child or I want to punch him in the face. That’s what this child had done to me. That thin line between love and hate, he has blurred it and I can no longer tell the difference between unconditional love and righteous hatred.

[caption id="attachment_11071" align="alignright" width="225" caption="“Wow, mister, I’ve never met anyone as dumb as you before!”"][/caption]

So I add an addendum to my original statement: Children are evil, and so is marketing. And by that I mean: Marketing is responsible for all evil on the planet Earth. I’m serious. It’s hard at its every level. There’s no way to just be “good” at marketing, and nothing will diminish the fact that literal blood, sweat, and tears will be lost to its cause, which ultimately ends up at what we call the “marketplace,” or as I’ve recently been referring to it, “The Death-Vacuum that Took the Giant Black Hole at the Center of the Milky Way and Said, ‘Wow, You Look Like a Tasty Candy Bar.’” I hate to use sports analogies since not everyone likes sports, but the only thing more infuriating than marketing may be consistently hitting a baseball.

In baseball, if you hit 30% of the time, you’re a legend.

In marketing, I’m gonna say if you hit 5% of the time, you’re a legend.

Sykosa, my new YA novel for which all this marketing is being done, is a work of love, but more than a work of love, it’s a good book. I went to fantastic lengths to ensure this. Like any good character should be, Sykosa is indescribable, but because we have marketing in this evil world, I’m going to do it anyway. Sykosa’s a sixteen-year-old girl who’s struggling to reclaim her identify after an act of violence shatters her life and the lives of her friends. She’s also kind of a riddle, but that’s alright, because you’ll know—in your gut—this is exactly the decision she would make, even if you can’t articulate why. She likes a boy she probably shouldn’t, except you’re not going to think, “Why is she dating this guy?” because you’ll know—in your gut—this is exactly the guy she would date, even if you can’t articulate why. She’s bright and could do a lot with her life, but she’s letting it slip past her, and you’re not gonna get upset with her, you’re gonna empathize, because you’ll know—in your… Egh, I could go on and on. Sykosa is special, I’m telling you she is, and I’m working this marketing game—which fits me like the worst fitting glove imaginable—to get her an opportunity.

I don’t say that to illicit sympathy. This is marketing, after all.

As I’ve learned, if I wanted sympathy, I woulda joined the military.

Comparatively, they treat you nice there. (I jest).

Still, perhaps you can imagine… What’s it like to watch this child’s mouse clicking about the screen, thinking seven things at once, and me in my chair, unable to eat my entire plate of French fries cause my metabolism won’t allow it, confused cause, as an adult, you need things presented to you sequentially, and logically, and, like, yes, you need people to take at least one breath between sentences! I mean—seriously, when do children breathe? Does it ever happen? Is this one of those things you don’t have to do until you’re grown up?

(Count to ten, Justin. Count to ten… He’s just a child. Nothing more).

Anyhow, Sykosa came out this week, and now she’s finishing her Whirlwind tour. I’m writing this all before it’s happened and I think, I hope, I’ve survived it and things are looking good for the future. For now, all I can say, in my most evening news-ish marketing voice, “Please visit Sykosa.com for lots of Sykosa related stuff, like character profiles, sketches, funny diagrams, a video question and answer blog, and a forty page excerpt.” But, I wonder if it that message can be heard, if amongst this open array of electrical impulses large enough to capture the entire human imagination, and small enough molecularly to be stuffed into box so tiny we lack the technology to even build it, is there room for Sykosa?

Can she break through the mist? Do you hear her?

She’s trying to say, “What’s up!”

 

As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the Sykosa eBook edition is just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes. The prizes include $550 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, and 5 autographed copies of the book.

All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment--easy to enter; easy to win!

To win the prizes:
  1. Purchase your copy of Sykosa for just 99 cents
  2. Fill-out the simple form on Novel Publicity
  3. Visit today’s featured social media event
  4. BONUS: Leave a comment on this post*
Leave a comment, win $100:

One random tour commenter will win a $100 Amazon gift card. Just leave a comment on this post, and you'll be entered to win. For a full list of participating blogs, check out the official tour page. You can enter on just my blog or on all of them. Get out there and network!

About the book: YA fiction for the 18+ crowd. Sykosa is a sixteen-year-old girl trying to reclaim her identity after an act of violence shatters her life and the lives of her friends. Set at her best friend’s cottage, for what will be a weekend of unsupervised badness, Sykosa will have to finally confront the major players and issues from this event, as well as decide if she wants to lose her virginity to Tom, her first boyfriend, and the boy who saved her from danger. Get it on Amazon.

About the author: Sykosa is Justin Ordoñez's life's work. He hopes to one day settle down with a nerdy, somewhat introverted woman and own 1 to 4 dogs. Visit Justin on his website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.


Monday, April 2, 2012

Book Excerpt (Novel Publicity): Justin Ordoñez ’s Sykosa

Please enjoy this excerpt from Sykosa, a YA novel (for 18+ readers), by Justin Ordoñez. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including $550 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, and 5 autographed copies of the book.

 

First period. American history.

Who knows which is worse. At this hour, it’s too early to care. Luckily, it’s never too early to bitch and moan. And she would do so, save her teacher is already on it. He’s up at the board—in shock that not a pupil noticed how his cuff smudged all his bullet points. Like wrist trajectory were her problem. That’s a math problem. And math problems aren’t her problem for another two hours. Yawn. He’s still going on—something about full attention being on…

Her fingernails.

Fingernails, you see, are better than lectures.

Particularly these lectures. Particularly this class.

She wishes nail polish didn’t break the Academy’s Personal Code, then her fingernails could be pretty colors, and she’d feel like a pretty girl. They should let her do her nails in class. It’s no different from doodling. It also increases hygiene, and in high school, that’s nothing to scoff at. She may paint her fingernails this afternoon, just for fun, then remove it and—

Hang on. Her teacher said something will be on a test.

Never mind, she already knows it.

Anyhow, if she does do her nails, she has a problem. She doesn’t know what to do. However, she does know she doesn’t want to do something she’s already done. If she’s gonna do her nails for one night, then it’d be nice if it were a departure of some type. Alas, her brain has no ideas. Being pretty is hard! Yet, she likes it so very much. That does it. She needs to talk to Niko. For one, Niko’s her best friend. Two, Niko’s gifted in the department of being glamorous. And luckily, Niko’s her neighbor, so she drafts a note that she passes across the table.

What should I do with my fingernails?

Niko reads the note in delight, then dies of boredom.

I thought you were gonna share good gossip or something.

No, I want to do my fingernails.

Do something slutty. That’s always good for a thrill.

That’s a good idea.

Niko always has good ideas. Niko’s brilliant!

She wishes she were Niko.

And Niko wishes she were Sykosa’s breasts. That’s me, Sykosa! Well, technically, it’s my breasts. Breasts are an urgent topic for Niko, seeing as her prime puberty years have passed, and to Niko’s horror, she’s all As in the bra and all Ds on her report card. That’s harder on a girl than people think. And it’s why Niko collapses her cheek on her hand, then inconspicuously stares at those far-bigger boobs. Niko thinks she does it for a second or two. In reality, it’s seven or eight. Now, before anyone makes any assumptions, Niko’s not gay. She’s about as boy-crazy as a girl gets. To the point that she collects boyfriends as if they were Girl Scout badges.

And to be fair, this breast-staring is harmless.

Though every girl has her limits.

Hers have been exceeded. Not by Niko, but by Tom. He also has his cheek in hand, his eyes overcome by her chest—for what is maybe ten or eleven seconds.

Unlike Niko, he’s thinking of her as if she were some toy.

He may be right.

In the only snowstorm of the year, as the Academy froze under the sickly sweet smell of a dysfunctional oil furnace, she retreated behind the two bell towers of the Academy chapel. And on that very day, this very boy—in his ski jacket laden with those sticky tags they put on bags at airports—stumbled onto her smoking self and put his tongue in her mouth. It was a bold move. And it impressed her. They didn’t need to “talk.” Besides, it woulda fucked up the moment. I get shy fast. Accordingly, she kissed him until her heart beat so hard she became faint. It meant something. This feeling. She caught her breath. They sat beside each other. Seconds later, she wished they hadn’t stopped, so they restarted, then kept at it.

This time without the tongue.

Niko steals the note, then writes a new one.

Why is he looking at you like that? Only I’m supposed to look at you like that!

Niko’s the type who admits her faults shamelessly. While it’s slightly backward, Niko does so not as a deterrent from such behaviors, but to enable them. She rarely complains. Because that’s Niko. And somehow that excuses everything Niko does. That said, she supposes she’s predisposed to Niko’s jealously over her body, perhaps to the point of flattery. You see, this Tom-thing is nothing. Or if it is something, it’s certainly not enough of something. Not enough for her to buy a prom dress.

Why do you think he is looking at me like that?

Because you * him.

Not to delve too far into the well of note-passing dynamics, but she—and the Queens—use secret codes in case of confiscation. “*” means fuck, in all forms and conjugations. She has not * Tom. She has not * anybody. Her lips quiver at the *. It feels like something she’ll put off until she is thirty. Simultaneously, she also feels like it could happen in the immediate future.

Sometimes she just “knows.”

Gross.

Afraid?

No!

But, she is afraid. Everything is too complicated. It should not have to be. She goes behind the chapel. He goes behind the chapel. They make out. Simple, right? It’s not. Regardless, if even that must be complicated, then certainly the concept that she wants to go to Prom, thus he should ask her to Prom and then they should go to Prom is simple, right? It’s not. You see, he has this best friend, this confidante, this main focus, this everything—and her name is not Sykosa, but Mackenzie.

Or as you will soon find out: “M.” That’s what he calls her.

 


As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the Sykosa eBook edition is just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes. The prizes include $550 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, and 5 autographed copies of the book.

All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment--easy to enter; easy to win!

To win the prizes:
  1. Purchase your copy of Sykosa for just 99 cents
  2. Fill-out the simple form on Novel Publicity
  3. Visit today’s featured social media event
  4. BONUS: Leave a comment on this post*
Leave a comment, win $100:

One random tour commenter will win a $100 Amazon gift card. Just leave a comment on this post, and you'll be entered to win. For a full list of participating blogs, check out the official tour page. You can enter on just my blog or on all of them. Get out there and network!

About the book: YA fiction for the 18+ crowd. Sykosa is a sixteen-year-old girl trying to reclaim her identity after an act of violence shatters her life and the lives of her friends. Set at her best friend’s cottage, for what will be a weekend of unsupervised badness, Sykosa will have to finally confront the major players and issues from this event, as well as decide if she wants to lose her virginity to Tom, her first boyfriend, and the boy who saved her from danger. Get it on Amazon.

About the author: Sykosa is Justin Ordoñez's life's work. He hopes to one day settle down with a nerdy, somewhat introverted woman and own 1 to 4 dogs. Visit Justin on his website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.


What Are You Reading Monday? #48







Books I completed in the last week are:
*Reading a lot of children’s book – I’m going to make a challenge of the titles found in 1001 Children’s Books to Read before I Grow Up (just need help with a button)


Devil’s Food Cake Murder by Joanna Fluke (Audio)


Bookmarks are still living in the middle of:
*Reading a lot of children’s book – I’m going to make a challenge of the titles found in 1001 Children’s Books to Read before I Grow Up (just need help with a button)



Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George (p50)
Death Threads by Elizabeth Lynn Casey (P135)
A Spoonful of Poison by M C Beaton (audio) (CD1)


Up Next:


1022 Evergreen Place by Debbie Macomber (audio)


Reviews posted this week:




Author Guest Posts/Interviews:


Blog Tour: Book Excerpt (Novel Publicity): Justin Ordoñez ’s Sykosa (April 2)
Blog Tour: Author Interview (Novel Publicity): Justin Ordoñez ’s Sykosa (April 4)
Blog Tour: Author Guest Post (Novel Publicity): Justin Ordoñez ’s Sykosa (April 6)
Blog Tour: (Novel Publicity) The House of Order by John Paul Jaramillio (April 11)
Blog Tour (Dark Mind) : Giveaway/Review - The Last Girl by Kitty Thomas (April 30)
Blog Tour (WOW): Author Interview & Giveaway - The Whip by Karen Kondazian (May 8)



Special Blog Hop Giveaways



Fool For Books Hop (March 31 – April 3)
Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Hop (April 6 – 12)